Because it's always better to show than tell, Bedrock Automation recently opened its Open Secure Automation (OSA) Solutions Lab at its headquarters in Mansfield, Mass., near Boston. The facility lets its experts directly demonstrate the capabilities and differentiators of its cyber-secure automation hardware and software for control and power applications. These demonstrations can include onsite sessions and hands-on training events, which can be video streamed as virtual lunch-and-learns, webinars or other online formats.
The equipment for the OSA Solutions Lab was assembled over the past 18 months, even though Bedrock's staff often had to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility has two main sections; the first features scalable, remote and cyber-secure OSA systems ranging from as few as 10 I/O points to several hundred, while the second highlights how they interact with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software, devices and networks. Visitors and viewers can also learn about OSA View, the company's OPC UA compliant SCADA interface platform, OSA Remote secure proxy for routing remote and legacy devices, and the free, newly released, IEC 61131-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Version 1.12, with expanded browser-based visualization, field technician interface (FTI), 64-bit and multi-core processing support and enhanced security tools.
The new lab complements Bedrock's existing OSA Engineering Test Lab that's also located at its headquarters. Rebuilt over the past six months for greater modularity and flexibility, the test lab examines competing components, conducts development and final product testing, and evaluates their compliance with standards and interoperability with communication protocols.
"We wanted to show modern solutions and combinations for solving different challenges, such as intrinsic security, biometrics, wireless connectivity and redundancy for Bedrock and its connected devices," says Craig Allen, customer service and technical support manager at Bedrock. "Because we have the required equipment, all of these solutions are available and ready to go in the lab. For instance, we can show them how to take a layered, information technology (IT) approach to cybersecurity, and seamlessly implement intrinsic encryption and authentication methods for OT end points and SCADA networks."
The solutions lab also demonstrates how Bedrock OSA implements IEC 61131-3 programming in conjunction with Green Hills' Integrity operating system and specialized semiconductor components. "The solutions lab shows how Bedrock OSA can scale from small to large applications, and keep them all secure, whether they're operating like an RTU, PLC or DCS,” adds Allen. "The lab also focuses on IIoT systems because that is what innovative customers are using to lower costs and increase efficiency. These IIoT systems have more connections and more potential attack surfaces as well, so they are ideally suited for Bedrock’s intrinsically secure automation solutions. For example, users are able to implement Bedrock's OSA View for local HMI control paired with a larger SCADA system. If a process application is compromised or gets hacked, users can implement a secure, tablet or PC-based interface by using URL or QR code. This will give local visibility to the system and allow them to maintain control of their process."